Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

ANSTO is lying to South Australians: nuclear medicine does NOT need a nuclear waste dump in Flinders Ranges -theme for May 18

As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”   Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.”  Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

“If the plan for a [South Australian] dump is defeated, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.” – Dr Jim Green

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May 11, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

“Nuclear Medicine” – the fig leaf on the toxic nuclear industry – theme for May 2018

Small rural communities in South Australia are being told that it’s their patriotic duty to save Australia’s nuclear medicine –  by allowing a nuclear waste dump in their area.

This is the patently lying propaganda of the Australian Government ‘s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science  now busily involve spending tax-payers’ money on pro nuclear spin.

The real purpose of the radioactive trash dump is to host nuclear waste – euphemistically called “intermediate level” waste – currently stored in of 9,8000 leaking rusty barrels  at Woomera, and also the wastes produced by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. These also so-called “intermediate ” wastes are the reprocessed wastes returned from France, with more to come in the future.

The Australian nation is being conned by the government and its well-funded nuclear promotion organisation Australian National Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), with the furphy that the whole purpose of the reactor is medical.

(a) the “medical isotope” function was tacked on  – the original purpose was to lead to nuclear weapons. The current purpose is just a foot in the door for the whole nuclear fuel chain.

(b) Nuclear reactors are now going out of fashion, as the cheaper, more flexible, local, cyclotrons can produce medical isotopes safely – with no radioactive waste created.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Nuclear scientists have lower awareness of risks, compared to “life”scientists

Research has found disturbing differences in the attitudes of scientists in different areas, to health and environmental risks of the nuclear industry.

It is even more disturbing that policy-makers and politicians prefer to support  and value the opinions and work of the very scientists who are least informed and least interested in those risks.

Politics and Scientific Expertise: Scientists, Risk Perception, and Nuclear Waste Policy, Richard P. Barke Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith.   – To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists’perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p0.05)in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a)perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b)perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c)strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d)prefer stronger requirements for environmental management.

On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that–independently of field of research–perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices. more https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00743.x

April 25, 2018 Posted by | art and culture, Christina themes, safety | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry and science myths- theme for April 18

The nuclear lobby is more of a religious cult than a science body. It relies a lot on the prevailing myth about “hard” science being somehow better than “soft science”.  The nuclear doctrine is that if you’re not an expert in the “hard”sciences, then you cannot have a valid opinion.

There were no biologists, geneticists, ecologists involved in the origin of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. It seems the same today, even though the most zealous nuclear lobbyists proclaim themselves as “environmentalists”. But their propaganda gives them away – shows their ignorance of those complex, nuanced sciences that are downgraded in the present global drive for unbridled technology development.

One hardly dares mention studies like sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies … even economics – these are dismissed, too, as “soft” .

But all these downgraded subjects are the ones we should be addressing, if the world is to be saved from the twin horrors of nuclear devastation and climate change.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Science in Australia: nuclear gets the funding, not climate, environment, health – theme for April 18

It’s more like a religious cult than a science.  Nuclear technology in Australia is shrouded in silence. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) rules the show, with The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) as its faithful servant.  ARPANSA is there to protect the nuclear industry, not us.

Recently, Dr Adi Paterson, of ANSTO, signed Australia up to join in developing Generation IV nuclear reactors – and then the government rubber-stamped that decision – a month later! No Parliamentary debate, no public information – nothing!

Now the Australian government is having another go at imposing  a nuclear waste dump on a remote South Australian area, disregarding Aboriginal heritage lands close by.

We are told that “Experts know that the waste dump will be safe, no environmental problems, no water problems” blah blah.

Of course, in nuclear discussions, the experts are always the “hard” scientists – nuclear physicists, technologists etc. And they get the money. High time that ANSTO’s funding and spending were exposed. 

Because now – we downgrade the soppy soft scientists – environmentalists, ecologists, geneticists, biologists, anthropologists ….

We’re in the era of STEM – Science Technology Engineering Maths .  Don’t get me wrong – these studies are valuable, important. But they’re not everything.  Time that the balance was redressed, and those more complex, nuanced environmental and biological studies were promoted, and their experts given  a say on matters nuclear.

Of course, Ben Heard and his ilk will pretend vigourously that they are “environmental experts”, but that’s a sham, used to win converts to the nuclear religion.

 

March 28, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Which South Australian parties have the guts to say NO to the Federal nuclear waste dump plan? – theme for March 18

Is there some reason why the greedy nuclear lobby, the secretive agency ANSTO, and the weak Australian government all seem to think that it’s OK to transport nuclear reactor trash for thousands of km across the land, and dump it on agricultural land in South Australia?

Is it because they’ve decided that South Australia is already radioactively trashed, because the Australian government allowed the British to test 12 major nuclear weapons and hundreds of “minor” ones on Maralinga, S.A.?

It is some sort of weird payback because this State never had convicts dumped on them – so the dominant Eastern States want to put the South Australians in their place?

South Australia is  a beautiful place. It has never generated nuclear trash. Let the nuclear trash be kept, (as international conventions and best  practice dictate) near to the point of production – AT LUCAS HEIGHTS in Sydney. And then let Australia come to its senses and stop making the foul stuff.

This is NOT  a “Kimba” issue, not just a regional issue, – it’s certainly a STATE issue, and a NATIONAL issue.

Aware citizens in Australia are waiting to see if the South Australian Labor Party, Liberal Party, SA Best Party have the guts to join the Greens in saying NO to the Federal nuclear waste dump plan.

 

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia election – nuclear garbage dump IS an election issue – theme for March 18

Where are South Australia’s political leaders on this? Hiding?  –   with the exception of The Greens, sweeping the nuclear waste issue under the carpet!

South Australia – uniquely beautiful, and with a proud history. – IT MUST NOT BECOME A NATIONAL NUCLEAR GARBAGE DUMP

Yet this is the Federal Government’s plan –  to transport Lucas Heights so-called “Intermediate Level Nuclear Wastes” for thousands of kilometres across this great continent, – past cities, villages, rivers , bridges – to be placed on agricultural land, near Aboriginal historic sites. And to be placed so-called “temporarily”, to become STRANDED WASTES. There is no plan for eventual deep permanent disposal.

The Federal government calls this “medical” wastes. Yet the vast bulk of medical radioisotopes have short half lives –   a few hours to a few days. So much more sensible to store those wastes close to the point of use.

The Australian government agreed in the 1950s to the principle that nuclear wastes should be stored close to where they are produced.  (NOT 2000km away!)

And – they’re telling us that this  is not a National issue, not a State issue, not even a Regional issue.

Heck – the decision is just up to a few greedy white Australians to offer to host the dump – and to ANSTO to bribe a few locals, and to the local Aboriginal community to be riven with anxiety over this

 

February 28, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Macho Madness – nuclear power nuclear weapons – theme for February 2018

The “Me Too” movement exposed the sexual exploitation of women at work, and the men in authority who make the decisions to cover this up.

Men in authority have forever been making decisions to cover up the exploitation of women, children and men in every arena of society. But in no arena more than in violence and war.

Without “Me Too” in decisions on nuclear power and nuclear war – we are all finished.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australian women – no say in nuclear decisions. Time for “ME TOO in NUCLEAR” – theme for February 18

Historically, women have been excluded from Australia’s nuclear discussions and decision-making.

Today they still are. (but the “cool trendy” new nukes lobby is bending over backwards in the pretense that women are involved, and are part of the toxic nuclear industry machine)

Oh dear – I did forget quite a few. For example:  

Now that Brewarrina Council in NSW is encouraging land-owners to nominate for hosting nuclear wastes, the council has engaged Robert Parker as their ‘consultant’ spin doctor! No facts, just spin.

 

January 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, women | Leave a comment

Net Neutrality, the Open Internet, and Nuclear Information – theme for January 2018

Before the Internet, information to the public was very much controlled by the established media – print, radio, television. With the world wide web came the opportunity for just about anyone to set up a site, just like this one, and to provide information on any generalist or specialised subject. (Of course, there are disadvantages – e.g. the new sites could lack the fact checking rigour expected of professional journalism).

From the point of view of examining nuclear issues, the Internet provided a timely opportunity to bypass the propaganda that is fed to the public via the mainstream media.  That has become more important now, as investigative journalists lose their jobs in the shaky world of commercial media.  The secretive nuclear industry has been having  a field day, or a field few decades, in handing out propaganda to mainstream journalists, who most often swallow it uncritically.

It was only  a matter of time before corporations worked to gain the same kind of control over the Internet, as they used to have over the media in pre-Internet days.

It’s in this context, that, on December 15th, the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission voted to end the 2015 Open Internet Order which protects net neutrality in the United StatesNet neutrality requires all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data equally, without blocking, “throttling” or censoring services or websites.

There is opposition in Congress to this move. So – it’s early days, to find out what effect it will have.

Still, I think that this is the first clear salvo in what could become a corporate war against independent media. A second salvo just arrived – as Glenn Greenwald reported on Facebook now obeying USA government, in censoring Palestinians’ posts.

The nuclear lobby would love that. They have the money, the corporate and government connections, to make a renewed campaign to stifle the truth about nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the real state of affairs in Fukushima, as the 2020 Olympic Games approach.

 

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia’s independent media versus nuclear propaganda – theme for January 2018

Australians don’t need to worry about corporations controlling what we can see or hear on the Internet.  Well, not yet, anyway.

Overseas, governments in totalitarian countries, Russia, China, do control the media, even including the Internet to a large extent.

But now, in a democracy – the United States of America, comes the first move to control the Internet.   Donald Trump’s Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission (the US equivalent to the Australian Communications and Media Authority)   has just voted to end the 2015 Open Internet Order which protects net neutrality.

Australia’s mainstream media is already largely controlled by the Murdochracy, anyway. From the point of view of nuclear information, there’s a strong government influence, as we see in the handouts from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology, religiously regurgitated by the South Australian media.

For nuclear information Australians do depend on independent media, and on a few brave investigative journalists, like the ABC’s Mark Willacy.

I think that, in 2018, all of us who care about our country, and especially about the nuclear threats, will need to foster, support, and follow, the independent media that we still do have, and the social media outlets that spread the information that the nuclear lobby does not want us to know.

 

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, media | Leave a comment

Uranium-to nuclear reactor- to nuclear weapons: Australia’s close involvement – theme for December 17

URANIUM. From 1944  the purpose of Australia’s uranium industry was to supply nuclear weapons.  Up until 1962 Australia supplied 7,730 tonnes of uranium to the USA and UK for their nuclear weapons programs.

More recently, Australia’s uranium is supposed to go only to “peaceful” nuclear  power. So – it can go to India, for example, where there’s dubious supervision anyway, and where it frees up other uranium supplies for India’s burgeoning nuclear weapons.

NUCLEAR BOMBS. The Menzies government allowed Britain to explode its nuclear bombs in South Australia, and also at Monte Bello Island, in the 1950s and 60s. So  the nuclear weapons industry has had its dirty foot well into Australia.

NUCLEAR REACTOR.  Lucas Heights nuclear reactor was always intended as a step towards nuclear weapons, AND IT STILL IS. In the early 1950s, politicians, scientists and Defence Department enthusiasm for Australia to get a nuclear weapon led to the building, in 1957, of a nuclear reactor  at Lucas Heights. A plan to build a nuclear reactor at Jervis Bay was pitched to the public as a commercial venture, but was always intended to provide enriched uranium for Australia’s own nuclear weapons.

Others favoured getting nuclear bombs supplied by Britain.  The pro nuclear lobby always had nuclear weapons in mind, and campaigned for them  strongly through the 1960s, to 1972, when Prime Minister Whitlam ended these ambitions. The campaign continued, more quietly.

ANSTO. In 1987 the Australian Atomic Energy Commission was abolished, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) was set up.  ANSTO is very secretive about its operations, but does pursue the advanced technology that would make nuclear weapons development possible. Today’s nuclear weapons advocates talk incessantly about “medical research”, and foster the myth of the “peaceful atom”.

As the nuclear weapons establishment in UK and USA now make clear – “peaceful” nuclear power is essential for nuclear weapons – as an industry supplying resources and trained operatives for the weapons industry.

The push for Australia to house nuclear wastes, and the whole nuclear fuel chain is an intrinsic part of the global nuclear weapons industry.

November 26, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, secrets and lies, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power and space exploration – theme for November 2017

Coinciding with the severe downturn in the nuclear industry, is the rush of enthusiasm for space exploration – and the goal of “putting  a man on Mars”.  The nuclear industry must be pleased, as the fuel for space rockets is their own product – PLUTONIUM!  (Space travel might save their industry?)

Plutonium is the most toxic of all the radioactive products of nuclear fission, as well as being the fuel for nuclear weapons. There have already been accidents with space rockets. The effects of a space craft crash on an Earth city are almost unimaginable, and certainly never properly considered by the space technocrats and nuclear enthusiasts. To them, this is an “acceptable risk”.

Then there’s the doom-laden future for astronauts to Mars. Quite simply, cosmic radiation would kill them. Even now, astronauts suffer extraordinary health ill effects, as related by Scott Kelly, in his new book “Endurance” .  Not all these effects are caused by radiation – and this issue merges into the troubling ethical problems of sending people to Mars, or even, into space.

We are constantly being told of the benefits to come, in space travel. What benefits? Are they greater than the huge environmental and personal risks? And the financial costs – paid for by the tax-payer? That money could go to meet real human needs. There’s something wrong with our priorities when we mindlessly accept enthusiasm for technology, innovation etc – as better than healing the health of this planet, and its populations.

November 11, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear power and Space exploration – dangerous twins – Australia : theme for November 2017

Yes, it’s all excitement and enthusiasm in Australia! Wow! We’re getting a Space Agency! And the very brilliant and appealing Professor Brian Cox is to tour Australia! Dare anyone throw cold water on all this joy?

Let’s start with the big problem. PLUTONIUM. While some rockets have been solar-powered, the current popular fuel is plutonium. The much-touted Cassini spacecraft, that recently plunged into the Planet Saturn, was powered by plutonium.

Plutonium space operations are a huge danger to the world.  Plutonium has long been accepted as the most lethal radioactive substance.There’s the danger of spacecraft crashing back to Earth, with resultant highly radioactive pollution affecting humans and all species. There’s the danger involved even on Earth. in the making of the plutonium-fuelled spacecraft.

The need for plutonium for fuel also necessitates nuclear reactors, the only way to get plutonium. Of course, the nuclear lobby is salivating at this potential rescue of it’s dying industry.

And Prof Brian Cox – a brilliant particle physicist and TV science rockstar? Yes. But he is also a very suave pro nuclear propagandist.

The current Australian mania for space exploration presents some other problems, which get no mention in the media. THE HUMAN PROBLEM  First of all – the overwhelming danger of radiation, which makes human travel to Mars impossible.

There are other very obvious ethical problems, in the plans to send people on  a one way trip to Mars.

And economic questions. just what are the greatly touted benefits of space exploration?

Australia is once again about to pour tax-payers money into a questionable science project, oblivious to its intimate connection to the very dangerous nuclear industry.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear LIES – theme for October 2017

The nuclear industry’s history of lies goes right back to its beginnings in the early 1940s.

I would say the that lying is the worst thing about the nuclear industry – and that’s saying plenty!

Of the current lies –  it’s hard to pick which lie matters most.

Lately the nuclear lobby is touting the lie that “new nuclear” is essential for peace and nuclear non proliferation.  That’s a beauty, isn’t it?

The truth is that the nuclear weapons industry needs the “peaceful” new nuclear industry – in which to grow its expertise for the nuclear killing factories – the $trillion dollars nuclear weapons makers.   (Which is why governments are lending an ear to the otherwise completely futile “Generation IV”  nuclear reactor lobbyists)

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment